Bitten by the Designing Bug
by Gail Jones
(San Bernardino, Calif. USA)
I started cross stitching when I was in high school, back in the late 1970's.
I wanted to stitch butterflies and moths but the only patterns I could find were taken from dead pinned specimens. I wanted patterns from live, more vividly colored insects in natural poses. So, carefully catching my own subjects and working with them, without harming them. (They were released later), I had my dad photograph them.
Then working from a large notebook paper sized photo, with clear graph paper laid over it, I began to write up my design and stitch it as I went along. I did three designs that way; with each one taking about 3 months to complete.
That was my first, non computer helped foray into designing.
After that, I didn't pick up designing again until about 5 or 6 years ago, when the designing bug bit again. Then when I found computer software to help design, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! It was so much easier to come up with patterns with the help of a computer.
Later I stumbled on X-Calibre's blackwork patterns and absolutely fell in love with the idea of blackwork.
Now I want to design that too and have already gotten started with a few patterns.
I also have Carol's book on blackwork and intend to start stitching her lessons within a couple of weeks.
Carol you are so helpful when I have questions. Thank you! I wish learning in school had been as much fun as learning from you. :)